Beginning Literacy Design
April Casey

OW! I stubbed by toe

Rationale:  When learning to read and spell words, children need to understand vowel digraphs so they can match letters to phonemes. In this lesson, children will learn the ou=/ow/ correspondence. They will learn to recognize it in both spoken and written words by practicing reading and spelling in this lesson. A letterbox lesson will be implemented to help children understand the ou = /ow/ correspondence.

Materials:  Elkonin Letterboxes for each and letters for each student: c, d, g, h, ch, l, m, n, o, r, s, t, u, chart paper with tongue twister, flash cards with letterbox words on them, The Napping House by Audrey Wood, a box of band öaids, picture worksheet

Procedures:  1.  Introduce the lesson by writing the "ou" on the board. When we see the o and u together, they make the /ou/ sound in many words. Today we are going to practice recognizing ou as /ow/ in spoken and written words.

2. Ask students:  Have you ever stumped you toe on something and said OW!? Well, when o and u are together in words, they team up to say /ow/. Let's all say that together ö "ow!"

3. Write, "I found out about her loud mouth" on chart paper. Read tongue twister to the students and then say Now let's all say it together 'I found out about her loud mouth.' Let's say it again, this time stretching out the /ow/ in each word: I f öoow ö nd oow-t ab ö oow ö t her l ö oow ö d m ö oow ö th. Great job everyone!

4. Ask students to take out their Letterboxes and envelope of letters. Now we are going to spell out some letters with ou in them. When we spell the words, we will spell only one sound in each box. Because ou works as a team to spell /ow/, both o and u will go in one box. Are there any questions? Model an example on the board for students and ask them to follow along with you at their desk. (ex word: about)
Words for students to spell:
Out, loud, mouth, couch, stout, sound, ground
(Shows number of boxes needed)
Ou-t, l-ou-d, m-ou-th, c-ou-ch, s-t-ou-t, s-ou-n-d, g-r-ou-n-d
Say each word slowly, emphasizing the /ow/ and use each word with a sentence. Give students time to spell each word and walk around the room throughout the activity to see how students are doing.

5. Allow students to choose a partner and give each pair of students a set of flash cards with letterbox words on them. Now we are going to practice reading the words we have just spelled. Show the cards to your partner one at a time to practice reading the words. When they have finished the two of you will switch the cards and the other partner will read the words.

6. Distribute one band öaid to each student. Read The Napping House aloud to students. Ask them to hold up their band-aids whenever they hear a word with /ow/ in it. Leave the book in the reading center for students to practice reading on their own or obtain multiple copies of the book for individual practice.

7. For assessment, distribute worksheets to students. Tell them to circle the pictures of the words containing the /ow/ phonemes and then write the spelling of the word beneath the picture. (Pictures included:  book, couch, house, lamp, mouse, stove, window, ground)


Eldredge, J. Lloyd. (1995) Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. New Jersey: Prentice All, 105-018
Buck, Lauren. Shout Out Loud.

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